Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Very Fruitful Chinese New Year (CNY)

Dear brothers and sisters,

Praise the Lord for my thesis supervisor, Dr Oy Saik has approved thesis proposal for my Master of Theology. I am now waiting for STS committee to query my proposal. After this, I shall spend 2 semesters to write it. Do pray that I will write a very practical thesis on how to become a BM speaking pastor so that I can use it to train more such pastors.

Children are more well behaved after CNY

My wife (over the phone) just told me that my 4 children become more well behaved after spending 10 days with my sisters-in-laws children. I believe there was good mutual influence about how to behave as siblings. I am relieved to hear that as she may have less stress from now on.

Devotion with in-laws and siblings

Upon the request of my sister-in-law, I did 2 times of quiet time with 4 adults (2 sisters-in-laws, 1 brother-in-law and my wife) and 8 children. I was all the time prepared to give a message to people. I grasped the opportunity to send very important messages to them as adults in parenting, as husband and wife and as sons and daughters. The first devotion was on the temptation of Jesus. We learn from Jesus on how to use the word of God to resist temptation. I explained the definition of sin and got them to participate in the devotion by giving examples of sin. A few of us spelt out our sins. I kept emphasizing to them when we correct ourselves from sins, wrong attitudes, wrong behaviours (e.g., manners), we will be forever right in that aspect of life, until we leave this earth.

My second devotion is on how King David committed adultery. I focused on the process of sinning against God. I got them to participate by describing the process of how a king sinned against God. From there, I taught that we do not underestimate the significance of so called sin like lying, cheating, bad attitude; if we do not repent or resist the temptations, they all lead to more serious sins and great punishment of God. God who is gracious and forgiving is also mentioned. I emphasized on the consequences of committing sin, like King David. I took the opportunity to warn them no sex before marriage and no watching of pornography and the consequences of doing so.

Reaching out to my mother side relatives

I also managed to meet up with the uncles and aunties (and their children and grandchildren) of my mother side. Most of them, I had not met them for over 30 years! A few of them I could not recognize them after so many years! We all get old and we had a lot of laughter! There are 20 of them. Some came as far as Sibu and Limbang to KK. Only 4 of them are Christians. I encourage all of them to believe Jesus and attend church. As for my auntie and my cousins and their children who are still here, I keep telling them I have mission with them. Last night, I made 4 phone calls to invite them to Chap Goh Men organized by Agape Methodist Church for their Mandarin service.

I also met up with my father side uncle and auntie and their children and grandchildren. I also encouraged them to come back to church as they backslide.

Visitation with Agape Methodist Church

My whole family also joined the Agape Methodist Church first day New Year visitation after the service. I could see that Agape church members are close to one another. One family even invited their non-Christian friends to visit. I also grasped the opportunity to make friends with them. In another house, I managed to encourage 2 baptized brothers who backslide to come back to church. In 2 families, I engaged 2 persons in personal talks and I show concerns for them.

My children were attending class with me in visitation

I pray that we all reach out to our friends and relatives all the time. If we are so close to one another and related to one another through blood ties, how can we afford not to see them in heaven to be with Jesus. I told my children they must get to know our relatives as inside their bodies have the blood of Chieng family (my mother is Chieng). As my children went with me, I also told them, they were attending class with me in remembering our relatives. I got their contacts (including email addresses and face book accounts) for future communication like this. I shall send them my updates and devotions. In this little way, I make a difference for Jesus!

A faithful disciple of Christ,
Pastor Law Hui Seng
(KK, STS, 31st January, 2012)

Posted By Teresa Han

Friday, January 27, 2012

Beyond Sacrifice

Dear brothers and sisters,

Praise the Lord I had a chance to play Chinese chess with my 95 year old father-in-law few nights ago. It was a great fellowship with a great learning which I called beyond sacrifice.

My father-in-law fell sick last December. For a few months we could not play chess. This time we resumed. Though I was defeated, I learnt a great insight about life.

As usual, I was attacked most of the times as I could hardly have the chance to attack him. He is so good in both defending and attacking at the same time. It was a 2 hour game. Towards the end of the game, we both left with a canon and a vehicle. His king was well protected by his 2 buses and 2 elephants; he only left one soldier. I only left 1 bus, one elephant, but 3 soldiers. He was skilful enough to eat 2 of my 3 soldiers.
At that crucial moment, on one hand, deep down in my heart, I told myself, I would properly lose the game, on the other hand, I told myself not to give up, I need to persevere in making all the right moves. I was also hoping for a surprising win. I need to make extraordinary moves. I need to make moves which were not within his calculation.

In that game, I hardly had a chance to attack him. How to attack him? I need to answer this question in the midst of the long fought battle. I made used of my only soldier left and it was at his bottom line. He had assumed that it was not effective anymore. I made full use of this oversight and I created a rare opportunity to attack him, by sacrificing my canon in exchange for his bus. He commented that it was a very brave move. That was the only positive comment which came from him throughout the whole game. The sacrifice that almost turned the whole game to my advantage! I got to attack his king a few times and got very near to finish the game.

However, he is a very good chess player, a very experienced one. Though he did not foresee my sacrificial move, a surprised move, and an extraordinary move, he was very careful not to make any wrong move. In the end, he still beat me!

Why I still want to write despite my loss? The reason is very simple. I learn a very precious insight about chess and life. When I sprang an extraordinary and unexpected sacrifice, I open myself to the golden opportunity of a chance to attack and to win. I see golden opportunities beyond the sacrifice. Without the sacrifice, I only wait for defeat and loss!I do not want it.

In relating to life and theology, I see the value of sacrifice in life. In life, most people see it as something negative, nothing good about it! Do you see it that way too? When someone chooses to forgive and not hate; not insist on compensation and let go; choose not to take revenge and bless, etc, there is sacrifice involved. When a sacrifice is made, not only both sides are blessed, people who are directly or directly involved in our lives are blessed. May be it can save a life, a marriage, a friendship, business, a church split; restore dignity and integrity, etc. You see the good opportunities available behind a sacrifice.

There are just too many values behind a sacrifice. This is constantly appearing in my personal reflection upon the sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross. I see that the sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross has such a powerful extensive impact in so many peoples’ lives. Jesus made a sacrificial death for my sins and the sins of mankind, I buy that. He overcame death by resurrection; He now has the power to forgive your sins and my sins.

Without the sacrifice of our dear Lord Jesus, you and me may not know how to deal with our sins, and we forever live under the guilt and all the consequences of our sins.

I always come to the conclusion that, Jesus is the best example to show us how to made a sacrifice. Yes, you may insist all the love, justice, benefits, good treatments, privileges, well-beings, welfare, respect and dignity, forgiveness, etc, which you deserve as human beings. When these virtues are denied, will you prepare to sacrifice so that Jesus’ kingdom may advance?

When I have a conflict with my wife, I always ask myself what is at stake. Is it my pride, own interest, own anger, some emotional feelings, etc, that bothers me? Or, is it some teachings of the bible, fear of Christ, certain Christ’s teaching, etc, at stake? If it is the former, I tend to keep quiet and not to waste my energy to sin against Jesus. If it is the later, I know righteousness is at stake, I would clearly make my stand and leave her to God. I believe in the process of doing so, a certain degree of sacrifice is involved. I do not mean to say she is wrong I am right or vice-versa. I leave it to Jesus to judge and her. On my part, I make sure I am at peace with Jesus. And I make sure I do not sin against my wife according to the teachings of Jesus.

Will you join me in following Christ in making sacrifices in order to make disciples of all nations (including your wife, husband, children, and the people around you; and also the people whom you minister)?

A Faithful disciple of Christ,
Pastor Law Hui Seng
(KK, Chinese New Year, in-laws house, 25th Jan, 2012)

Posted by Teresa Han

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Something personal from me

Can my wife stand the stress?

There was a strong urge for me to share our experience of decision making for our twins, after talking to my wife over the phone (I am in KK and she is in Miri) just now. We understand that moving from primary 6 to form 1 in BM (Malay Language) is a big jump. We decided to get them to do BM tuition, once a week. We are also very concern about their English ability, for their future career and personal development, etc. This one requires 2 times a week to go for tuition. We asked ourselves about the need for it. Their basic grammar is weak and looks like, they need it. But, as I think and even ask Jesus about it, I naturally come to think of my wife, whether she can stand the stress of transporting them around? I am not around to relieve her. Can her heart valve leakage problem stand the tiredness? I told her about it just now, as a caring husband. She took note of my point. I ever told her last year (December) that deep down in my heart, I did not want to lose my wife because she was overtired and overstressed, I did not want my 4 children to lose their beloved mother because of this unnecessary reason or our miscalculations. I also told my children to help out as far as possible at home to relieve their mom of the stress. At the moment, everyday, she is 2 to 3 hours on the road already!

The last time she had a recurrence of breathlessness was because of overtiredness and stress. Just now, I really said to her that the tuition was secondary, her health was the major factor to consider. We resort to pray about it, and only make a decision later.

I pray that my sharing will bless you, and help you all to draw near to Jesus.

A faithful disciple of Jesus,
Pastor Law Hui Seng
(10.20pm, Tuesday, STS, KK, 10th Jan, 2012)

Posted By Teresa Han

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Year Full of Thanksgiving

Dear brothers and sisters,

May this letter give all the glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ. Though this is a thanksgiving letter, it reflects how Jesus is so real in my life. Jesus is the reason I write this letter. May you all be encouraged by my letter.

First and foremost, I thank Jesus for He is all the time reminding me to work at my 2011 resolutions. I managed to read my bible from Genesis to Judges. In the area of evangelism, though I did not bring 2 persons to Christ, I put in efforts to reach out to my mom’s elder brother children and their families at KK. They came for an evangelistic meeting. Their few children came 2 times to Agape Methodist Church Sunday School. I did 4 times of bible studies and taught about 5 Indonesians on the subject of prayer. I reached out to Tudan Ibans (Miri) during my breaks. I did one mission trip to Ulu Belaga, Long Malim Penans and prayed for 6 families. Privately, when I met people and stranger, I always introduced Jesus to them and encouraged them to go to Church.

I read about raising girls by James Dobson, though I did not finish the book. It did help me to realize that they are very different from boys. I need to help them to be fine girls.

My private phone calls back to Miri regularly and discipline my twins to read a self-made Bahasa Malaysia (BM) sentence regularly had helped them to score B and C in the UPSR (primary 6) was a great testimony of Jesus’ help. My twin 2, Elliot, though a dyslexia, did well in his UPSR. He was able to score 3B, and 4C. Even his subject teachers were surprised by his expected better results. The form teacher informed my wife about it a few days ago when we went to take the RM100 government grant for each child. Jesus used the principal, all my son’s teachers and my wife and myself to help him. Thought he is dyslexia, we never give up on him. From primary 1 to primary 3, he always get the second last position in class despite tuition. Eventually we discovered he is a dyslexia in primary and we sent him for 3 months special training at Kuching Dyslexia Association headed by Dr Ong. The training built up his confidence and eventually, he improved much in his studies. Praise the Lord for using the dedicated teachers at the association who helped my son to build up his confidence. I strongly believe as he moves on with his brother in Form One, in Chung Hua Secondary School, with the help of the teachers and parental encouragements, they will only get better in their studies and characters as Jesus desires them.

Secondly, I thank Jesus for the good health of my family members. Though my wife is down with heart valve leakage, her health does not get worse. She was able to face the stress of taking care 4 children without me around as I studied at Sabah Theological Seminary (STS). There was only one time of recurrence of breathlessness. Though blood pressure shot up even higher during my studies, now, it is back to normal.

Thirdly, I thank Jesus for one year of studies, regular phones back to my family, monthly trip back to Miri and more rest seem to give healing to our family relationships. As a family, we become much closer to one another and we become happier.

Fourthly, I thank Jesus for using Grace Methodist Church (GMC) brothers and sisters to care for my family during my absence. Jesus used many brothers and sisters from near and far to pray for us and provide for our needs. With all these supports, we are so encouraged, and truly felt Jesus is very real. We just need to keep passing the love of Jesus on and on.

Fifthly, I thank Jesus for providing me with very good supervisor (Dr Oy Saik) and readers (Rev Dr Thu and Bishop Thomas), lecturers and STS community. Praise the Lord for the excellent community life where different races live together so harmoniously. They show me good examples of living together as different races.

Sixthly, I thank Jesus for I find Agape Methodist Church and serve together happily with them in KK on Sundays; and able to preach at other Methodist churches a few times. These helped me to get to know other disciples of Jesus in other Methodist churches. I always find it very exciting to see them growing to be more like Christ outside Sarawak.
Finally, I thank Jesus for my wife and 4 children who supported me in these 2 years of theological studies. Deep down in their hearts, they knew, they did it for Jesus. My training will equip me to impact more lives for Christ.

Let us together, we look forward to 2012, and very much allow Jesus Christ to be number one in our lives. May Jesus make all the difference in our lives.

A Faithful disciple of Jesus,
Pastor Law Hui Seng
(Miri, 31st December, 2011)

Posted By Teresa Han